Tag Archive: standup paddling

The W700 is very stable and easy to stand up in

By Darcy Paulin

British Columbia, Canada

I find that the W700 is far too easy to stand up in 😀

The W700 is great. It easily carries 2 people, even two 200 lb guys. It is for this purpose I bought it, and when I am paddling with another person, we would carry it by the straps. It is very stable. I was not kidding when I said it is too easy to stand up in. It is perfect for taking people out even when they are a little nervous about the water.

 

First time paddling my Wavewalk 500 in Lake Margarita

By Karen Briefer-Gose

California

First time out, was perfect. All my goofy looking sun protection gear on (don’t care, I’m a melanoma survivor). Loved it! Plenty of room to carry stuff. Not tippy. And no having to extricate myself from it.

Kathi took this video of me 5 minutes into our first outing at Lake Margarita. Felt really comfortable. Headwind gave me a workout, but was fun. My Wavewalk is a zillion times more comfortable and roomy than Kathi’s little 10′ sit in kayak and didn’t mind getting caught in people’s wakes. This is the perfect kayak for me!!!!!

 

A few days before the trip

Wavewalk Series 4 review and testing, St. Augustine, Florida

By David Hernandez

St. Augustine Paddle Sports

We had a blast testing and videoing the S4 and can’t wait to get it on the water again. Gene, Will Niemann and I all took part in making the video. Will edited it and added the music. This past Sunday we had our monthly event called Honoring The Brave for Veteran’s and First Responders. I used the S4 with my wife and daughter to paddle the S4 down the Silver Springs river. I have attached some pics also of that event to this email.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More fishing and rigging with Dave »

KAYAK TOURING

Must-read kayak review: Paddling 340 Miles in a W500 Kayak, By Clint Harlan, Missouri »

Fishing is the most popular application among people who use Wavewalk™ kayaks. These people need kayaks that are particularly stable and comfortable, and would enable them to go on lengthy trips in the quest for fish, and spend long hours in their kayaks without suffering from any sort of pain, discomfort or wetness, while moving swiftly from one fishing hole to another in the same fishery, or between different fisheries. Such trips often take place in less than favorable weather and water conditions, such as under wind, which is why these paddlers appreciate their Wavewalks’ unrivaled tracking capability. Needless to say that such anglers take plenty of fishing gear on board, and some take camping gear as well, and they love their W kayaks because it offers more storage space than any kayak out there.
The same basic requirements apply to kayak touring, which makes the Wavewalk™ particularly appealing as a long-distance touring kayak, a.k.a.  expedition kayak.

Things To Know And Consider When Choosing A Touring Kayak

The purpose of this article is to explain the basic terms and facts related to kayak touring in order to enable the reader to make informed decisions when choosing a touring kayak.

Kayak touring is a recreational paddling activity involving one or more kayakers going on medium to long range trips on freshwater and/or at sea. Kayak touring usually does not include traveling in whitewater, fishing and hunting, but it is sometimes combined with camping, bird watching and photography.
A touring kayak is a kayak designed for one or two kayakers (tandem) going on kayak touring trips.  In the range of kayak speeds touring kayaks offer average to high speed.

1. A Brief History Of Kayak Touring

1.1    The Origins Of kayak Touring
Native peoples of the Arctic Circle used kayaks for touring expeditions for hundreds and possibly thousands of years before kayak touring became a recreational activity sometime around the beginning of the twentieth century. Their custom sit-in kayaks were hand crafted, and already had the basic design of modern days touring kayaks except for the fact they featured no kayak seat, rudder or hatches that were introduced only in recent decades. Some of the native kayaks were narrow and designed to be easily rolled in case of capsize, and others were wide enough to offer sufficient stability for a native kayaker. It is important to note that native kayakers were considerably lighter as well as shorter than the average, modern North American paddler. On top of this, native kayakers practiced kayaking for long hours since early childhood and were in most cases more athletic and in better physical shape than the average North American touring kayaker. Such differences in stature, weight and skills have a critical effect on essential issues from safety to comfort, recovery, speed, tracking and maneuvering etc.

1.2    The Beginning Of The Kayak Touring Era
Canoeing became popular among settlers in North America, who adopted various native canoe designs for touring the continent’s waterways as well as for transportation of people and goods. Kayaks remained unused because canoes had the advantage of having a greater load capacity and were easier to paddle with a crew of two or more passengers. Sometime after the middle of the nineteenth century trains, motorized boats and later trucks and cars made canoes obsolete for utility touring, but at the same time people began to have more free time and disposable income, and began paddling canoes instead or rowing boats as a popular recreational, outdoor activity.  Kayaks were accepted as mainstream recreational paddle crafts starting in the sixties, as the new American society became increasingly centered on the individual. For this matter, the kayak had the advantage of being easier to handle and propel by a single passenger than a canoe is. It is then that the traditional sit-in kayak design was hybridized with the paddle board and the first commercial sit-on-top (SOT) kayak came to this world (1). Gradually, with the evolution of the consumer society it became fashionable to own a touring kayak, similarly to owning other individual recreational equipment such as a pair of name brand skis, a set of golf clubs or the latest model of fancy bicycle.

1.3    The Roaring Nineties

This trend reached its peak during the second half of the 1990s, as the soaring stock market coupled with the boom in Information Technology markets made it easy for urban professionals to buy increasingly expensive recreational sporting gear. It is during that period that expensive touring kayaks hand made from new, fiber reinforced plastics (FRP) became fashionable, and many small and medium size touring kayak manufacturing businesses thrived. This trend was equally fueled by the natural tendency that people have to compare the gear they’re using, and to assume that the more expensive the kayak the better it is.  It is in this brief half decade that many kayak touring clubs were founded and many paddle shops got into the business of selling touring kayaks.

1.4    Kayak Touring Today

Things have taken a downward course around the 2001 depression, and a new era in kayak touring has begun. Some called the beginning of this new trend the ‘Touring Kayak Meltdown’, and it reflected a number of developments – The first being a considerable drop in sales of expensive touring kayaks and at the same time a rise in sales of low-cost recreational kayaks. The second is a decline in participation in kayak touring activities such as club tours, and a rise in recreational kayaking activities including rentals, non organized short trips and kayak fishing. The difference between the trend setting kayaks in the nineties and the trendy kayaks today is not only in price and materials (rotationally molded polyethylene being the most popular material today), but also in the basic design concepts. The typical touring kayak used to be a very long, very stiff (I.E. brittle) and very narrow sit-in kayak. These attributes served the purpose of enabling higher speed and practicing the Eskimo Roll. In comparison, today’s typical touring kayak is shorter, wider and roto-molded I.E. not as rigid as an FRP (‘composite’) kayak, and it’s as likely to be a sit-on-top as it is to be a sit-in kayak.  As for the sit-in concept, most of these modern kayaks are very wide and not used with a spray skirt since they are not intended to be rolled.

2. Categories Of Kayak Touring

Expedition – Many miles and several days or more. This type of kayak touring is the most demanding from both kayak and kayaker.  The kayak needs to be solidly built and gig enough to store the gear and provisions required for a long trip. Because of its size a weight it should be stable enough to minimize the need for rolling.
·    Sea Kayaking – Kayaking on very large bodies of water (E.G. Great Lakes, Ocean) in a group of at least two kayakers. Typically, sea kayaking trips are not longer than one day.  The sea kayak is required to be fast enough for its user to keep in pace with the other kayakers in the group. As for the actual seaworthiness of such boats, the reader is welcome to read the article ‘Are Sea Kayaks Seaworthy?
·    Tripping – Long journey, mainly on rivers and lakes. The tripping kayak is required to be strong enough to withstand the hardships of going down rapids, multiple beaching on rocky shores etc. It also has to offer sufficient load capacity for gear and provisions.
·    Touring – General term for recreational paddling through longer distances, usually in groups and sometime for more than one day. Touring is often combined with other recreational activities such as camping, photography, bird watching etc.  Touring kayaks include a broad range of designs that are generally faster than whitewater, surfing and recreational kayaks and slower than racing kayaks.
·    Day Touring – Leisure kayaking for trips shorter than one day.
·    Recreational Touring – Leisure paddling limited to short trips in both time and distance terms.

3. The Touring Kayak Design

The touring kayak has to fulfill a number of sometime contradictory requirements of which the two essential ones are safety and comfort. Next come speed and maneuverability, which are important as well but not critical. Load capacity and storage come last and their importance is reduced if the kayak model is designed for shorter trips and calmer waters, as most touring kayaks are nowadays.

3.1    Safety

This is obviously the most critical requirement, and it is a complex, multidimensional one.
The first thing that comes to mind when discussing kayak safety is the ability of the kayak to protect its passenger from dangers including drowning, injury, exhaustion, hypothermia etc.
For example-
A kayak with too little free board might eventually fail to prevent water from getting inside the cockpit. In extreme cases the extra weight might impede and even sink the boat, and in cold water and weather it could cause the passenger severe discomfort, exhaustion and even death as a result of hypothermia.
A kayak that’s too narrow to offer sufficient lateral stability to its passenger is prone to being overturned by external forces such as waves, boat wakes etc., or as a result of an accidental error made by the passenger in a moment of inattention.
The paddling community is divided between the traditional, small and diminishing minority of those who see the Eskimo Roll as the ultimate recovery method and an already overwhelming and growing majority of those who prefer to paddle wider, more stable boats than increase the risk of capsizing by paddling narrow ones.
A kayak that does not offer sufficient legroom and good ergonomics will cause its passenger to suffer from discomfort, fatigue and sometime exhaustion. Such kayaks often cause cramps in the legs and thighs, leg numbness and back pain that could lead to serious boating accidents. In the long run uncomfortable kayaks might cause lasting back injuries.
A kayak designed for high speed and therefore made from very lightweight and rigid materials such as carbon fiber is also more brittle than a kayak molded from polyethylene, and might develop cracks when hitting rocks or ice.  Needless to say, that a cracked hull in cold water can be fatal. Unfortunately for passengers of such kayaks, the colder the temperature the more fragile the hull becomes.
These examples show how the requirement for additional speed might reduce both the kayak’s mobility and safety.
In this context it is appropriate to stress that designs and techniques that were perfectly acceptable and useful for native kayakers are no longer practical for most modern non-professional kayakers – including those who think otherwise.

3.2    Ergonomics and Biomechanics

These subjects are already discussed in depth in another article called ‘Biomechanical and Ergonomic Solutions To Modern Kayaking’ (Article).
In essence, when choosing a touring kayak it is useful to remember the following points:
You are going to spend many hours at a time in this kayak, and what may seem comfortable to you in the first fifteen minutes of paddling might turn to be a nuisance and sometime a source of pain after an hour or two, and it may even cause back injuries over longer periods of time.

3.3    The Kayak Seat
This is a modern-days accessory that native kayaks did not feature. Kayak manufacturers introduced it as a support for the kayaker’s back in order to prevent it from ‘falling’ backwards as a result of sitting in a position that’s not appropriate for people who are no longer used to sitting on the floor, that is nearly all of us Westerners.
But the seat has not solved the ergonomic problem at its root- it just changed the symptoms: Now the supporting structure itself I.E. the seat’s backrest created a pressure point in the kayaker’s lower back, and while generous cushioning may dissipate to a certain level and postpone the discomfort it certainly does not eliminate it.
In fact, the kayak seat created a second problem, which is the lack of sufficient support for the kayaker’s feet: Instead of the back ‘falling’ backward the feet are ‘sliding’ forward, which is why they require a rigid, vertical accessory to stop them, and that’s what the foot rests or foot braces effectively do at the cost of increasing the pressure on your lower back.
And while the kayak seat has become standard in all commercial kayak models because without it hardly anyone would be able to paddle them, it has also become the Achilles Heel of the touring kayak since it merely transforms one ergonomic problem to another, and touring kayakers paddle for long hours…

3.4    The Cockpit

What’s a cockpit?  -Basically, it’s the space in the boat from where the person who controls the vessel sits or stands.
Sit-in kayaks have a small cockpit in the boat’s center, where the seat is fixed in its place. This design offers little protection from waves and spray, and enables a single sitting position with restricted legroom. If you want better protection you can cover the opening with a tight spray skirt, and by doing so you’ll be locking yourself inside the cockpit for better or for worse… with intermediary degrees of discomfort such as being seated for long hours in a puddle of water since eventually water doesn’t fail from getting inside.  You may also experience overheating in the summer and cold in winter, and acute discomfort resulting from the fact you are forced to remain seated in the one and only sitting position that’s offered to you – and it’s not even a comfortable one.
When it comes to sit-on-top (SOT) kayaks, you’re not even offered a proper cockpit space to speak of but rather an area on the open deck of a craft that’s basically little more than a re-designed paddle board that’s paddled like a traditional kayak.  The (virtual) cockpit of a SOT offers you no protection at all. In fact, SOT kayaks’ cockpits have holes in them that go from their deck to the bottom of the kayak.  These ‘scupper’ holes are there to drain the water that accumulates in seat area, but as soon as the water gets a little rough they also let water go up in the other direction, wetting you and your gear…
As far as comfort goes a SOT’s cockpit may be somehow less restrictive than the cockpit of a sit-in kayak, but the essential problems remain the same, plus you’re more likely to go overboard unless you attach yourself to the deck with ‘thigh straps’, which isn’t safe even if you can roll a sit-in kayak.
The SOT’s cockpit (or lack thereof) is the reason why you would hardly see SOT touring kayaks anywhere in colder regions.
In sum, as a touring kayaker you should consider whether the cockpit of a kayak model offers you a functional space or if it is just a ‘place’ inside the boat or on its deck.

3.5    Storage Hatches

Imagine yourself paddling your new touring kayak on a big lake or some other large body of water, and the weather is getting windy and unexpectedly cooler so you’d like to wear your sweatshirt, which you stored just two feet away from you… but you’re unable to grab it because it’s in the hatch…
Then your cell phone rings and you’d like to answer the call but although your cellphone is just a couple of feet away it’s unreachable because it’s in the hatch… Then you run out of paper handkerchiefs for your running nose, and although the extra package is onboard your kayak there’s no way for you to reach it until you beach somewhere – because it’s in the hatch…
So, the rule for hatches is that they are designed for storing objects that you wouldn’t need on board.
Now that same unexpected change in the weather is generating some waves. -You paddle to shore and beach your kayak (while stepping in water) and open the hatch just to find that the sweatshirt you stored there for such cases got wet from water that got in, as well as the extra package of paper handkerchiefs and your cellphone…
Such stories are so common that some kayak outfitters would tell you that whatever you bring onboard your kayak is likely to get wet – including yourself.

3.6    The Rudder

Even your kayak dealer or outfitter is likely to tell you at some point that you should try to avoid using one…
Native kayaks had no rudders but modern kayak manufacturers noticed that most of their customers were facing difficulties in tracking and maneuvering their kayaks.
The problem with conventional (I.E. mono-hull) kayaks is that the longer they are the harder it is to maneuver them, which could be a severe problem in rough waters and weather since you may be going in a straight line but not necessarily in the direction of your choice because the wind, waves and currents would outmaneuver you…  -But the shorter the kayak the less well it tracks, which is too bad since in a short rudderless kayak you’ll find yourself zigzagging your way to your destination instead of going straight there.
So why are rudders so controversial?  -Simply because they obviously add an element of complexity and technical difficulty to the kayaking experience.  However, there is another tradeoff to consider – one that’s less apparent, which is the fact that a rudder slows your kayak down by 10% in average. In other words you have to spend 10% more time to get where you want to go, and you’re likely to work harder getting there because using a rudder requires that you overcome a new set of hydrodynamic and biomechanical problems…(2)

3.7    Additional Passengers On Board

Traditionally, touring kayaks are solo boats, and if you want to go kayak touring you need a tandem model, which is not practical for a single kayaker.
This is a less than optimal solution, and in fact it’s even inferior to solutions offered by canoes.
SOT kayaks are somehow more flexible on this issue, and in some cases the ‘guest seat’ on the deck can accommodate an additional passenger for short rides, but in such cases the kayak becomes laterally unstable and is not it’s not balanced fore and aft and therefore becomes even more difficult to paddle.
But additional passengers don’t necessarily have to be paddlers like you – They can also be small children or dogs, and it goes without saying that both their safety and comfort must be assured.

3.8    Speed

This is possibly the most discussed subject related to kayak touring yet it seems to be unclear to many kayakers.
The first issue that needs clarification is what makes a kayak go faster?
The answer is obviously the power and skill of the kayaker, plus the design of the kayak itself that enables the kayaker to use these resources efficiently.  Since kayakers differ greatly in physical attributes such as height, weight and strength as well as in their specific paddling skills and touring style a kayak that’s fast for one paddler may be slow for another, and vice versa in some cases or even as a general rule.
For example, a very narrow and long sea kayak may enable a kayaker to go faster on flat water than a shorter and wider kayak would, but it could be difficult to control in moving water such as rapids and surf, and therefore force the kayaker to go slower or even give up paddling it in such waters.
The classic example used by both kayak designers and outfitters is a very long and therefore potentially fast kayak that requires more power from its paddler because its increased length inevitably increases its surface area and thus also the frictional drag it generates when moving in the water…
Since the kayak is a passive object without a motor or sail of its own its speed depends its hydrodynamic qualities but possibly even more on its ergonomic and biomechanical design, or simply on what its physical impact on the paddler is.
Therefore, when choosing a touring kayak it would be beneficial for you to consider speed not necessarily as the first and foremost parameter but as yet another feature that comes at a certain price that you may or may not want to pay. You should take into consideration what type of kayak touring you’re likely to practice, and who are going to be your paddling partners. Obviously, if you intend to paddle together with kayakers who paddle fast you’d better paddle a fast kayak – but only if you’re a good kayaker yourself.  Otherwise, if like most touring kayakers you’re planning just to spend time kayaking alone or in the company or others who share the same mindset without rushing anywhere you should put speed in a much lower priority.

4.    The Kayak Touring Experience

4.1    Comfort

After reading about the safety requirements it’s easier to understand why comfort should be a critical requirement from your touring kayak.
Comfort is a multidimensional issue as well, which pertains to ergonomics (mainly minimizing fatigue), biomechanics (mainly efficiency of paddling and injury reduction) and easing the operation of the boat (just ‘Keep It Simple S…’)
In previous sections of this article we discussed some comfort issues in a safety context, but comfort is also important in itself since it’s the number one factor that’s likely to determine the overall quality of your kayak touring experience, and thus will determine if you’ll be satisfied with your kayak choice and possibly even whether you’ll stick with kayak touring as a preferred outdoor activity.

4.2    Mobility: Launching, Beaching Etc.

Both launching and beaching go to the kayak’s performance in terms of mobility, which is at the core of kayak touring: A good touring kayak should offer you the ability to launch from more places and get back to land whenever you want.
Many people find it difficult to enter a sit-in kayak, and they don’t appreciate the elaborate maneuvers required to perform what should be a simple thing. Obviously, the same thing goes for beaching your kayak and exiting it…
This is not just a matter of basic convenience but also one that has safety implications, especially if your kayak is made from one of those extra-light materials (E.G. carbon fiber reinforced plastic) that are very rigid as well as brittle. You may find that your pride and joy developed a crack in its hull because you beached it a bit too roughly, and such a discovery may occur while you’re paddling it…
So a touring kayak should be easy to get into and out of, and it should better be ‘built tough’.
Sit-on-top (SOT) and open-cockpit kayaks are much easier to enter and exit than sit-in kayaks, and this is one of the reasons that make them more popular than sit-in models. However, what makes such kayaks easier to enter and exit is what eventually will offer you less protection from the elements…

4.3 Stand Up Paddling

Back in 2004, when Wavewalk offered the first generation of kayaks enabling stand up paddling in full confidence, some pundits of the kayak touring world scoffed, and others ignored us. Today, after the market for stand up paddling (SUP) on paddle boards has become much more popular than kayak touring, the Wavewalk™ kayak is till the only one to offer all people regardless of their physical fitness both kayaking and stand-up paddling in full confidence and comfort. W paddlers enjoy both a relaxing change of paddling positions, as well as a new way to look at the world around us, and enjoy it.

5. Summary – What’s Important To Remember

The kind of kayak touring you practice may be different from someone else’s, but all touring kayakers are basically seeking an experience that may have to do to some extent with nature, freedom, escape, adventure, group participation, family, friends, healthy exercise and most of all – fun.
This precious, personal experience could be damaged by people who confuse kayak touring with racing, or others that have a tendency to compete in kayaking skills and knowledge, or by those who show off their latest acquisitions in expensive kayaking gear, electronic gadgets etc.
Your kayak touring experience can also be ruined by an inadequate kayak:  Regardless of price, your kayak is no good if it doesn’t contribute to your own, personal touring experience, so if anyone tells you what experience you should be after or what boat is proper for you just remember that these are personal things that you need to discover by yourself and for yourself – even if it takes a long time and possibly switching kayaks.
The type of kayak touring you like and the touring kayak you like are best for you, period. You shouldn’t let individuals who may be ‘purists’, ‘gear freaks’ and ‘tribal chieftains’ affect your personal judgment.
It is inconceivable that your choice of a touring kayak would be affected by considerations that may have been relevant to native hunters of the polar circle in the distant past.  Things have changed since then, and both your needs and capabilities are very different form theirs, as well as the number and types of kayak concepts and designs you can choose from nowadays.

6. New Approach And New Solutions For Kayak Touring

We hope this article has informed you in some way about the subject.
You are welcome to learn about the solutions offered by the W Kayak in this website’s Touring section, and watch W Kayak demo movies

(1)    Interestingly, small, personal sit-on-top board-like paddle boats were quite common around the world for millennia, of which some were paddled with dual blade paddles similar to kayak paddles E.G. in Italy, Pre-Colombian South America etc.
(2)    More information on rudders is available in the article ‘Are Sea Kayaks Seaworthy?’

Questions? Comments? Please call or email us

7. REFERENCES

Kayak Review: Paddling 340 Miles in a W500 Kayak, By Clint Harlan, Missouri

What do Wavewalk kayak owners have to say about the W Kayak?  Reviews of the W Kayak

Getting trapped in your kayak

Are sea kayaks seaworthy?

How Much Gear Can You Store Inside a W Fishing Kayak?

The Canadian Museum of Civilization: http://www.civilization.ca/aborig/watercraft/wak01eng.html

Kayak Newfoundland and Labrador Kayaking Club:
http://www.kayakers.nf.ca/sea_kayaking/labrador_kayak/inuit_kayak.html

The Seaworthy Kayak, article by John Winters.

Speed Fundamentals, the Twinhull Advantages and the Principles of the W Kayak Concept:
http://www.wavewalk.com/COMPARISON.html

Biomechanical and Ergonomic Solutions to Modern Kayaking:
http://wavewalk.com/blog/no-kayaking-and-fishing-back-pain/

A Wet Ride – Problem Overview and New Solutions

Encyclopedia MSN Encarta: Inuit http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761561130/Inuit.html

Paddle and Fish Standing

Stand Up Kayak Fishing and Paddling

What makes it possible for you in the real world, and why SHOULD it matter to you?

This article examines what makes stand up fishing so important, and why an increasing number of kayak fishermen are disappointed by kayak designs that fail to deliver adequate stability, comfort and safety. These anglers end up standing and fishing in a Wavewalk® 500 Kayak, often despite potentially problematic factors such as their body size, old age, and even certain disabilities.

Kayak fishing for Albacore standing in a Wavewalk S4

Click images to enlarge

Three big guys fishing standing in the new Wavewalk S4 –

Click images to enlarge. Read the full story »

 

Before going further, please watch this video that shows what we call ‘boat stability’:

The above video shows that the stability offered by the W700 is comparable to the stability offered by boats such as Jon-boats and dinghies, namely that although the W700 paddles better than any fishing kayak or canoe out there, it is no longer a kayak when stability is concerned – It is a boat.
This is why this article about kayak fishing standing is mainly about the super-stable Wavewalk® 500 kayaks in comparison to other fishing kayaks out there.

CONTENT

  1. Fishing from small watercraft – Overview
  2. What about stand up fishing from sit-on-top (SOT) kayaks?
  3. Why is standing in your fishing kayak important?
  4. Stand up fishing kayak demo movies
  5. Are other kayaks safe enough for stand up fishing and paddling?
  6. What about very wide SOT kayaks?
  7. And what about SOT kayaks with outriggers? (stabilizers)
  8. Differences between kayaks for stand up paddling and stand up fishing
  9. What happens when you catch a fish standing up in a kayak?
  10. Motorized stand up fishing kayaks
  11. Stand up fishing kayak pictures, and what they mean to you

1. Fishing from small watercraft – Overview

People all around the world have been fishing from small boats for millennia. Interestingly, many native fishermen like to stand up in their boats when they propel them and fish from them. After all, what could be more natural?  If possible, standing is both a powerful and comfortable position for a person making a continuous physical effort.  It is good for our blood circulation, less strenuous on our back and it enables us to make a good use of our legs, which happen to have the most powerful set of muscles in our body.
It is worth noting that wade fishermen, people who fish from shore and people who fish from bigger boats also like to fish standing, if not all the time at least for a great part of the time.  Standing makes is easy to cast a line or throw a net, and certainly makes it easier to scout for fish and better stops to fish in.
When the native people of the arctic circle developed their kayaks the L position was natural to them and they were not particularly concerned with comfort but rather with stealth, as their kayaks were designed mainly as hunting boats enabling the hunter to get close to its prey without getting noticed.  However, when these people went fishing or whaling they usually preferred to use Umiaks – a type of big, wide and stable multi-passenger seaworthy canoe that offered them the possibility to stand up.

 

Casting a fishing or a shrimping net standing in a boat requires more stability than angling does. Read the article »

 

2. What about stand up fishing from sit-on-top (SOT) kayaks?

Stand up kayak fishing sounds like an oxymoron since most people find it difficult enough to sit it inside or on top of a kayak, especially when it involves fishing.
Some fishing kayak manufactures advertise that their most stable models may enable a person to stand in or on top and cast but there is no real proof to support such claims.  At best, those very wide SOT kayaks may enable a child or a very small and lightweight adult to stand on but certainly not with enough confidence to enable casting and landing fish.  No traditional SIK or SOT kayak manufacturer ever claimed they offer a kayak that may enable a person to paddle standing…
The reality with regards to traditional SIK and more recent SOT kayaks is that these small and lightweight crafts offer good mobility at a low price and for a low cost of maintenance, but at a price of diminished comfort and the inability to do anything standing up.

3. Why is standing in your fishing kayak important?

Besides the fact that standing up improves your chances of catching fish there’s a more important fact related to it: Your ability to stand up goes directly to your comfort and well being, and to your overall fishing experience.  After all, catching fish is fun but not as much when it comes at a price of unnecessary fatigue, serious physical discomfort and even pain resulting from being limited to a single, uncomfortable sitting position, without being able to do anything to change positions and relieve pressure on your lower back.
When fishing comfort is key to both success and fun, and neither leg numbness nor back pain may contribute to either although you’re most likely to experience at least one of them after sitting for a while in the traditional kayaking position.  And don’t let yourself develop hopes in ‘improved kayak seats’…- Adding some cushioning and changing the shape of the seat can’t change the basic physiological facts: You’re stuck in a sitting position to which you’re not used, and your legs are pushing you backwards and creating a pressure point in your lower back.
Even today, most fishing boats are big and stable enough to enable their passengers to stand up while fishing.  So why shouldn’t you stand up in your small, inexpensive and portable fishing kayak?  The patented Wavewalk® 500 twinhull Fishing Kayak offers you to do that, as well as many other things without giving up any of the regular fishing kayak advantages.  In fact, when it comes to the known advantages of fishing kayaks over bigger fishing boats the Wavewalk® 500 Kayak offers you some real, additional advantages such as better protection against wind, spray and waves, better mobility when it comes to ease of launching and take-out, better handling of the surf, better tracking, more dry storage space, and overall a much higher level of seaworthiness.
Kayak fishing may be a sport, but since you’re doing it for fun you may as well have fun doing it.  Kayak fishing is a good idea if indeed it’s done properly, that is without reducing your fishing experience.  The W Kayak can unleash the full potential of kayak fishing and upgrade it to what it’s really meant to be: a challenging, full sport activity that you can practice without constantly thinking of the comfort that bigger fishing boats have to offer.

The Wavewalk™ kayak is the only kayak that was developed for high performance stand up paddling and stand up fishing in moving water, and it’s the only kayak that fits both these extreme applications in terms of safety and comfort.
Here are the facts we recommend you know about stand up padding and fishing from kayaks and other small craft –

4. Demo movies

These two demo movies are extreme, but they show what stability you actually need to get from your kayak when you’re out there in the real world, where stuff happens is the rule, and not a rare exception:

 

We call this unrivaled performance of the Wavewalk® 500 kayak “Super Stability”.

BTW, the new Wavewalk® 700 is more stable than the W500, and the stability is offers is comparable to the stability that one experiences in a Jon boat. We call it ‘Boat Stability’.

5. Are other kayaks safe enough for stand up fishing and paddling?

Since many things can and will cause you to lose balance if you choose to stand up in or on top of a kayak, you must be able to react effectively and regain balance even in adverse conditions, and our W-kayak enables you that while no other kayak does.
Our patented twinhull Wavewalk® kayak is the only kayak that offers each of your legs to stand in a hull of its own, and it is the only kayak created especially for stand up paddling and stand up fishing.
Sooner or later you will lose balance (stuff happens – you can be sure about that!), and for such cases you need to have a ‘Plan B’, which would be to fall down on something that’s high enough to stop your fall as well as support you.
You don’t want to fall all the way down on your kayak’s deck since it will cause you to fall overboard. You definitely don’t want to slip either, and therefore your feet must be secure where you stand.
Our Wavewalk® 500 twinhull kayak is the only kayak featuring a 14″ high saddle that you can fall down on at will, swiftly, and when you choose. The W-saddle has a hull on each side, and you ride it with each of your legs supported by its own hull, and your feet planted at the bottom, several inches below waterline. Being positioned that low is what makes your feet really effective for stabilization and control.
For these reasons you’ll never be truly confident or comfortable standing on top of any sit-on-top (SOT) kayak, even if staged pictures and movies may show you people standing on their SOT kayaks and fishing.
You must remember that neither sit-in nor SOT kayaks were invented for stand up paddling or fishing in the first place.  Some people are capable of pedaling a unicycle while juggling oranges, and others can hop between wooden logs floating on a river. Does it mean you can do it? Would you even like to try?
-What’s the point in taking the risk of falling overboard anytime you go fishing? -Would you feel confident standing up on an unstable platform?

6. What about very wide SOT kayaks?

SOT kayaks with very wide hulls track poorly and are hard to paddle, and they may be stabler than narrow ones, but definitely not stable enough when it comes to paddling and fishing in confidence. This is because most of a SOT kayak’s buoyancy (that’s what actually supports your weight) is distributed along its hull’s center line, where it is useless for effective stabilization. If you want a kayak that’s stable you need to design it with all its buoyancy on its sides – exactly as it is in the Wavewalk® 500 twinhull kayak. In fact, the W-kayak has no buoyancy wasted along its center line since 100% of its buoyancy is located on its two sides – as far as possible from the center line.

7. And what about SOT kayaks with outriggers? (stabilizers)

The use of outriggers, whether as add-ons or integrated into the hull can improve your kayak’s stability, but not enough for stand up paddling and fishing in full confidence, which is what you really need.
This is because kayak outriggers are located in the back part of your kayak’s hull, and therefore may support extra weight and pressure only if you apply them towards the back. Such outriggers are nothing more than a gimmick if you’re applying your weight forward and sideways, and you can be certain that when you’re standing up you’ll have to do that often.
Remember: stuff happens in real life, and water is always wet, and sometimes it can be cold, and deep.
Between attached and integrated outriggers the latter offer reduced stability because of the fact that their center of buoyancy isn’t located as far away from the kayak’s center line, where it would offer more support. It’s simply a bad idea when stability is concerned, and traditional outriggers offer a better support.
Furthermore, integrated outriggers coming out of the main hull form a Y shaped hull which is probably the most ineffective form ever created when it comes to paddling, or any other form of propulsion. In other words don’t count on such design for paddling.

8. Differences between kayaks for stand up paddling and stand up fishing

Both need to be extremely stable, but there are differences in requirements.
A stand up paddling kayak is required to be narrow as possible, since it makes it easier to move the paddle efficiently and ergonomically, as it is in regular (seated) paddling. A kayak that’s too wide would under perform in stand up paddling, as it would in seated paddling.
A stand up fishing kayak needs to be even more stable than a stand up paddling one because the paddle may help you balance yourself, while a fishing rod would be ineffective for this purpose. This is where the location of the kayak’s buoyancy becomes critical, as does the location of your legs and feet.
The Wavewalk® 500 is only 29″ wide, and yet, due to its revolutionary design that was granted a US utility patent, it is the stablest fishing kayak out there.
This means that once you’ve learned to properly operate the W-kayak, you’ll benefit from its unique features, while other kayaks simply don’t have such a broad performance envelope to begin with, and would never offer you anything that even comes close.
Again, we recommend the you watch our demo movies for a start, and judge for yourself.

9. What happens when you catch a fish standing up in a kayak?

After casting for some time you’ll probably hook up a fish. If that fish doesn’t manage to make you lose your balance and fall overboard you’d need to land it in or on top of your kayak… and then what? If getting up from the seated position and going back down to it is hard to begin with, how does it feel when you have sit down while holding a fishing rod in one hand or both hands, and there’s a good size fish dangling at the end of your line?
Obviously, this doesn’t make much sense, and it’s another example that shows how important it is to have something to fall back on easily and intuitively (a ‘Plan B’), which in this case means (again) safely and comfortably. This is where the W-saddle comes into action: It’s 14″ high, and it’s waiting for you to sit down and drop the fish in one of the hulls, where it has nowhere to go, and won’t cause you any problem.  In comparison, other fishing kayaks feature a seat that’s as low as possible – practically at deck level, and nowhere to park the struggling fish except in your lap…

If you’re interested in learning more about kayak design for better stability, we recommend the following article ».
Never judge a kayak by stand up pictures or movies shot under regular conditions – It may look nice and cool but it’s meaningless for you since it doesn’t show performance in ‘what if’ conditions.
Many things can and will destabilize you, including fish, wind, eddies, waves, wind and your own, inevitable moments of inattention.
What you need to be able to judge is the ‘what if’ performance, and our demo movies will prove to you that no other kayak compares to our Wavewalk® 500 twinhull kayak.

This article would be incomplete without providing more information about what people who fish standing in their Wavewalk® 500 kayak have to say about their real-life experience with it. Our website offers over 200 Wavewalk Fishing Kayak reviews contributed by such people, including full name and state, and in most cases pictures too.

10. Motorized stand up fishing kayaks-

Electric trolling motors vs. gas outboard motors, transom mounts vs side mounts, offshore and inland – and more.

Stand up kayak - motorized
Read the article »
MUST WATCH MOVIE:
Paddling standing in Coot Tunnel, in the everglades
Stand up paddling in Coot Bay Tunnel, in the everglades, a movie by Steve Lucas »

11. Stand up Wavewalk® 500 fishing kayak pictures, and what they could mean for you

Pictures of young, lightweight and athletic fishermen standing in their kayak look nice, but they don’t necessarily mean that you can do it too, and feel confident and safe while you fish.
More about the stability in fishing kayaks »

 

Bob holding his 2nd snook standing in his kayak
Bob Smaldone – Standing carefree in full stability and confidence in his Wavewalk® 500, at 70
Jeff_standing_in_his_W500_fishing_kayak
Jeff McGovern – Stand up with no balancing act in the Wavewalk® 500, even if you’re 6’3″ tall, 245 lbs heavy, and middle aged
tandem-fishing-standing-in-stand-up-kayak
Family Fishing Day, by Chris Henderson »
two teenagers and one kid standing up in their green fishing kayak - Arizona
The Sellards – Multiple passengers can stand in the Wavewalk® 500 kayak too
Bill standing and casting in his fly fishing kayak, Eel River, MA
Bill Davenport – 6’3″ tall, sixty something, and with an artificial knee – Standing and fly fishing in
saltwater in his camouflaged Wavewalk® 500
Senior_fisherman_fishing_standing_in_his_kayak WA
Ken Short – 70 y/o – Any fisherman should be able to stand up in their kayak
Stand up kayak - tandem
Stand up paddling is an essential part of kayak fishing standing
Rox_standing_in_her_fishing_kayak_holding_a_3_lbs_largemouth_bass
Rox Davis standing in her Wavewalk® 500 – You should be standing on the bottom of the kayak’s hulls, below waterline, and not on top of its deck
fly-fishing-standing-in-kayak-big-carp
Gary Thorberg is a big guy whose passion is fly fishing standing in his Wavewalk® 500 kayak. His favorite species are musky, carp and bass
elderly_fisherman_standing_in_his_kayak_RI
Norm Craig – Being elderly, heavy and suffering from a bad back isn’t a problem when you fish out of a Wavewalk® 500
Bob_fly_fishing_standing_in_his_kayak_Florida
Standing up is an essential part of fly fishing
big_guy_standing_in_camo_kayak_battling_smallmouth_mink_river
6’3″ 250 lbs John Fabina fishing standing out of his Wavewalk® 500 – Big and tall anglers need to be able to cast freely, and enjoy the same range of motion and stability they are used to when fishing from big boats
big_and_tall_fisherman_standing_in_kayak_rescuing_a_lure_from_tree
Jeff McGovern standing in his Wavewalk® 500 and retrieving a fishing lure stuck up a tree Standing up in a kayak means having the capability to focus on things that are important to you, and not having to pay attention to keeping your balance
largemouth-bass-caught-in-stand-up-fishing-kayak
Bassin thick weed in the stand up kayak »